| Posted inWeekly Blog
Keeping players hydrated is something that coaches seem to overlook.
It was interesting to note that at the 17’s and 19’s Nationals in Brisbane, team officials were requesting urine samples on a daily basis from their players to check that they where hydrated.  If they weren’t then straight away the players would be instructed to start drinking.
I remember when Gatorade was first introduced.  I was in the Queensland Under 21’s and back then we played nationals outside.  Nationals was in Brisbane that year and we played on the outdoor courts at Downey Park.  Some days it topped 38 degrees so hydration was incredibly important.[member]
Prior to that year, I do remember having a quick slug of water and sucking on a few oranges at the break.  Hydration didn’t seem to be an area that had been researched therefore as athletes we never went out of our way to keep hydrated.
I’m not saying we need to go as far as to take samples but I am saying we need to bring it to the attention of our players and be vigilant in making sure they are taking in water during the week, trainings and during the game.  A large majority of young teenagers tend to dismiss their health as being a priority and this could be due to lack of education about outcomes of poor hydration and nutrition.  Keep on their case and they will start carrying a bottle of water around and it will become a habit.
During the game your team should have a large container of cold water so drink bottles can be refilled courtside instead of players running off during breaks to fill their own bottles.  Always have this container at your trainings so players have easy access to water and also have regular drink breaks.
Encourage players or their parents to buy filtered water bottles in bulk eg you can pick up 16 bottles for $5 at Aldi and just keep them in the fridge and they can grab one as they walk out the door to school etc.
As coaches there are many areas of responsibility we have to players and keeping them hydrated during trainings and match play is one of them.  Every training remind them of the importance of HYDRATION.
 Written by Melissa O’Brien.